My first hand planes

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Blog entry by MNclone posted 08-05-2014 03:15 AM 2460 reads 0 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch

After lurking on this site for a while, I stumbled across the Before and After tool restoration thread and thought it looked like fun. So a few weeks back I came across an estate sale that had some old planes for what I thought were reasonable prices so I picked a few up.

I grabbed this $4 Craftsman “Sargent 408” and a $3 Stanley 118 block plane.

I was pleased with the purchase and talked the wife into going back the next day. Everything was a bit cheaper then so the wards master 22” jointer plane that I passed on at $20 was purchased for $14. I’m not sure who the manufacturer is on it. It has a U1 marking on the frog but that’s it.


I used a vinegar soak on all metal but the Wards body. I couldn’t find a proper container for that.
I thought the vinegar worked pretty well. Soaked everything overnight and then gave a water bath and scrubbing. No parts were terribly rusty and cleaned up pretty well. I then sharpened the irons using scary sharp method and shaved part of my arm. I lapped the soles and the sides of the Wards to remove rust and scrubbed the rest. Everything got a nice coat of paste wax as well.

The Craftsman tote was broken but it was a clean break that glued nicely. The knobs were chucked in my drill and sanded. The totes were simply scraped and sanded by hand. This was probably the most tedious part of the job. The Craftsman had a reddish finish that I believe to be shellac over some lovely mahogany. The Wards had black paint over what I believe to be oak? The paint really soaked in and I couldn’t get down to clean wood so I used some dark walnut stain to cover it up. I’m not thrilled about the look but if I really don’t like it I can just paint it black again later.

After polishing up some brass and steel I put everything back together and this is what I got.

Now I grew up doing some woodworking but never used planes much. It took me a bit of tinkering but soon got the hang of it. I had no idea it would be so enjoyable to make a 2×4 smaller and less square!


After this venture I think that I’m going to try more of a hybrid approach to woodworking and get some more use out of these guys. Unfortunately I don’t think that my block plane that I picked up is going to be of much use. Not sure I will even bother cleaning it up.
Anyway, thanks for looking.

3 comments so far

View ronniebo's profile


129 posts in 3232 days

#1 posted 08-05-2014 03:30 AM

Oh to be the first to say it—-here`s another one caught in the headlights!!
Good luck mate??
Ron in Hobart

View Nels's profile


48 posts in 2195 days

#2 posted 08-05-2014 11:31 AM

Don’t know what shape it’s in, but the 118 is a great little plane. I like the 60 1/2, but the 118 is very similar and close to unbreakable. They sold a lot of these to schools. If all the parts are there, the only problem I’ve had is if the blade is pitted, keeping the edge from being usable. If I have one plane in my box, it’s one of these low angle planes.
I hand joined boards for years with a #7. If you put 2 boards togeather in a vise and plane it, checking it with a straight edge, you can get a great joint. I bought a jointer with the spiral carbide blades and it’s to easy to use. I won’t be going back.

View NormG's profile


6496 posts in 3571 days

#3 posted 08-08-2014 05:23 AM


-- Norman - I never never make a mistake, I just change the design.

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